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U Manik Raitong - the first Khasi coloured film

Manik Raitong (Manik the Miserable) - is the first coloured film in Khasi language of Meghalaya. The film was directed by Ardhendu Bhattacharya. It won the Indian Panorama 1984 Award (from amongst 21 Indian Feature Films).

The movie was made in the year 1984 and was about 149 min in duration. It was made under the banner of Neo Cine Production. The movie was screen played and directed by Ardhendhu Bhattacharya and the storyline was from Rishan Rapsang which was based on one of Meghalaya's earliest legends. The music for the film was composed by a Japanese musician Kazu Matsui. Skendrowell Syiemlieh rendered his voice for Manik Raitong and in 1991 he received the 'U Tirot Sing Award'.

The lead actors in the film were William Rynjah, Sheba Diengdoh, Gilbert Synnah, Veronica Nongbet, Benjamin Kharkongor, Diamond Matthew and Assamese female actor Chetana Das. It was also the first movie for Sheba Diengdoh's who acted as Lieng Makaw, the female lead in the movie.

The movie represented the Indian Panorama at the Tokyo Film Festival. It also won the Appheia Award.

(The first Khasi film 'Synjuk Ri ki Laiphew Syiem' (The Alliance of Thirty Kings) was directed and produced by Hamlet Bareh Ngapkynti.)

Ardhendu Bhattacharya - Bhattacharya holds a postgraduate degree in philosophy at the Visva-Bharati University in Shantiniketan and then went to the Film and Television Institute of India to study further. He made documentaries in Bombay, Guwahati and worked alongside as a philosophy lecturer at 'Gauhati University'. He directed two famous movies, Indira in 1980 and Manik Raitong in 1984.

(Ref - IMDB) (Photos taken from -;;;

Poster of Manik Raitong, Kazu Matsui, Chetana Das and Skendrowell Syiemlieh
Photo: Poster of Manik Raitong, Kazu Matsui, Chetana Das and Skendrowell Syiemlieh

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  1. BRAVO! I am so proud of the team who did this and brought this epic story to life in a movie. Well done :))

  2. great but can you give more information regarding the dates and other films as well

  3. Hello moderator/editor, the photo that you have tagged of as Ardhendu Bhattacharya's is not his. It is some one else's picture that you have put on the article. Its a request from me, to put down the picture of the late Mr Bhattacharya. The photo is of an aged man, but Bhattacharya passed away at 38, so you can guess its a wrong picture. I hope you will consider the request and put down the picture.
    My email id -

  4. Ahana, the contributor might be correct. I think the photo is taken from -

    1. No way, its not correct. i knew mr bhattacharya personally. Anyways, thanks to the moderator for removing the picture

  5. Do the people of new generation know that the legend of Manik Raitong (and Liyen Makaw) was created on celluloid by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika as "Pratidhwani" in Assamese as well as dubbed in Khasi in the '60s !

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